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Compulsory Treatment in Psychiatry: Some Reflections on Self-Determination, Patient Competency and Professional Expertise

By Lawrence O. Gostin


In this article the author examines the rationale, in legal and policy terms, of the inextricable association traditionally formed between certification and incompetency. He argues that forming categories of people in which the law automatically dispenses with the requirement of seeking consent is fraught with conceptual inconsistencies and practical difficulties. He further argues that clinical judgments made without the consent of the patient should be made subject to an independent statutory review. Such a review procedure could also be adopted for treatments which are unusually hazardous, irreversible or not fully established even if the doctor purports to proceed with the consent of the patient

Topics: patient competency, psychiatric compulsory treatment, psychiatric patients, Health Law and Policy, Health Policy, Law and Psychology, Public Health
Publisher: Scholarship @ GEORGETOWN LAW
Year: 1982
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